Africa prepares for space industry boom
The African space industry was valued at approximately $20 billion (€27 billion) in 2021. By 2026, this value is expected to rise to $23 billion.
The continent is currently home to more than 270 NewSpace companies that are developing space technologies and offering space-based services, including in the fields of telecommunications, defense, security, shipping, aviation, mining, agriculture, environment, development, education and health.
That's according to the website of the NewSpace Africa Conference 2023. Organized by the African Union (AU), the conference will take place from April 25 to April 28 in the Ivorian metropolis of Abidjan.
"The chances are great that Africa will soon be able to build its own powerful space industry — a space industry that really helps people in Africa," stresses South African market analyst Rorisang Moyo.
The space industry is Moyo's specialty. And it's "an industry with enormous growth potential, especially in Africa," she told DW.
Moyo, who will lead one of the panels on "Promoting Public-Private Partnerships and International Cooperation," emphasizes above all the importance of the African Space Agency, an African authority that will be based in Cairo.
The transnational project of the AU is intended to give the continent a say on the international stage. Due to its geographical features — particularly its location on the equator — Africa is particularly suited for the construction of spaceports, from which not only African satellites could be launched into space in the future, explains Moyo.
However, the necessary investments would require a unified legal framework in Africa. It is important to regulate relations with investors and partners from other continents in a binding manner. That is precisely what the African Space Agency will do, according to the analyst.